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Summary of the Rapier Moot at Winter War

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  • Eve Harris & David Stamper
    Greetings! Here is a summary of what was discussed at the Rapier Moot held at Winter War, March 7 AS XLIII in the Shire of Trinovantia Nova. The moot began
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 9, 2009

      Here is a summary of what was discussed at the Rapier Moot held at Winter
      War, March 7 AS XLIII in the Shire of Trinovantia Nova.

      The moot began after the conclusion of the final rapier tourney and was
      attended by around 12 fencers. There were four topics on my Agenda. First,
      was the way in which periodic testing is handled. Second, was the way we
      handle line engagements in melees in rapier combat. The third item was in
      regards to a request from the KEM on how to easily identify minor combatants
      on the list, especially for first responders. Finally I wished to discuss
      the possibility of holding a KWAR in Ealdormere. What follows are not exact
      minutes, but a summary of what was discussed based on my notes from the

      I want to note from the start that the discussions at this moot, and any
      other moot I run, are by no means binding. The moot is a forum for fencers
      in Ealdormere to express there opinions on various issues so I have an idea
      of what people think of those issues. It is by no means the only forum and
      people are more than welcomed to express their opinion on the e-rapier list
      or to me in private. If I feel change is needed I will take all of the
      opinions expressed to me into account before I act.

      Topic 1: Periodic Testing of Armour

      I reviewed the rules for Periodic testing of armour, noting that it had been
      expressed to me that penalty for not keeping one's card up to date, i.e.
      having to reauthorize in all forms if the card expired, was too harsh. It
      was confirmed that periodic testing is required under the Ealdormere and
      Society rules. The general consensus seemed to be that the system as it
      currently stands is working and that it is the responsibility of individual
      fencers to make sure their cards are up to date. The means of renewing the
      card within the two year timeframe were deemed adequate though there were
      circumstances that could make it difficult to renew in some cases. This can
      be addressed by communication with the KRM/Minister of the Lists and
      extensions can be allowed within reason. I noted that I am hoping to hold
      further moots to get more fencers opinions on this issue.

      Topic 2: Line Engagements in Rapier Melees

      I reviewed the relevant section of the rapier rules (V5) on melee combat in
      rapier which are as follows:

      6. MELEE: Melee combats present special challenges to all involved.
      Society norms are as below:
      A. In melees, fighters are engaged with all opponents immediately upon
      the call to lay on.
      B. Fighters may strike any opponent with any legal blow if they are
      within the 180 degree arc of the opponent's front. A fighter who approaches
      an opponent from behind shall not deliver a blow until he is within that
      frontal arc. A fighter may never deliberately strike an opponent from
      C. Killing from behind is allowed if it has been announced beforehand.
      The Society norm for "death from behind" in melees shall be: If a melee
      scenario allows killing from behind, a fighter does so by laying the rapier
      blade over the opponent's shoulder, to at least a third of the blade, while
      calling "Dead, my lord" (or other short, courteous phrases) in a loud, clear
      voice. Reaching around the neck is forbidden. The opponent will be deemed
      "killed" from the instant the blade touches his shoulder and shall not
      attempt to spin, duck or dodge away.
      i. Note: If death from behind is not allowed in a given melee, a
      fighter who deliberately ignores an attacker behind them, or repeatedly
      maneuvers to keep their back to an attacker (thereby preventing any attack
      on them) may be considered misuse of the rules and obstructive behaviour.
      ii. Daggers may also be used, but care must be taken not to punch or
      strike the fighter with the guard or quillons of the dagger when so used.
      D. In special scenario melees (e.g., bridge or town battles),
      additional restrictions may be imposed by the marshals as needed.
      E. Cut and thrust rapier may not be used in melee.

      I noted that concepts from armoured combat often creep into discussions of
      melee combat and cause confusion. By the current rules a fencer does NOT
      have to make eye contact with an opponent and have them acknowledge in order
      to engage, they merely have to enter "the 180 degree arc of the opponent's
      front". As a convention I'm defining "front" as a line drawn through the
      points of the shoulders, with the direction the torso (not the head or legs)
      is facing being "front". There was agreement on this clarification. I then
      reviewed the rules for "Death from Behind" and noted that a kill occurred as
      soon as the blade made contact, not when the attacker finished declaring
      their opponent dead.

      Topic 3: Identifying Minors on the List

      There is a move at Society level to come up with some means of quickly
      identifying minors who are below the age of medical consent on the list
      field should accident or injury occur. The SEM, the DSRM and the KEM have
      all asked for input on finding a way of doing this. I asked for ideas that I
      could submit to the KEM for discussion. It was noted that the medical age of
      consent in Ontario was 16 so only 14 and 15 year olds would have to be
      identified. An identifying mark on the fencers mask was discussed but as
      masks often get switched around it is not the most effective method. Other
      methods of identification brought up where: belt favours, a full tabard, and
      one or two elasticised scrunchies on the arms of the fencer. Belt favours
      are problematic because lots of people wear all sorts of different belt
      favours and the minor one may be hard to pick out. Tabards were not popular
      as they would cover up pretty garb. The scrunchie idea seemed to be popular
      and one on each arm was suggested as the fencer may be lying on one arm and
      the first responder may not be able to see the identifier. This was
      confirmed by a discussion with several chiurgeons after the Moot who thought
      the scrunchies were a good idea, especially if they were brightly coloured
      (neon green being one suggestion). These ideas will be forwarded to the KEM.

      Topic 4: KWAR 2010 in Ealdormere

      The Known World Academy of the Rapier (KWAR) is a society level event
      intended to allow fencers from all over the KW to get together in order to
      participate in various tourneys and attend classes, some given by the
      foremost experts on Western Martial Arts (WMA) in the world. A number of
      fencers hadn't heard of KWAR before. It was noted that KWAR would be an
      immense undertaking for the rapier community of Ealdormere and would require
      the full cooperation/approval of the Kingdom. Ideal sites would include
      cities close to the US border and/or close to an international airport.
      Toronto and Sarnia were two places discussed as were several other cities
      like Kingston, Ottawa, and Hamilton. No consensus was reached on location,
      but Lady Jocelyn will be looking into venues in the Toronto area. Types of
      venues were discussed including hotels and university campuses. Lady Jocelyn
      agreed to take point on the KWAR effort with myself acting as tourney
      co-ordinator with the possibility of Giovanni acting as class co-ordinator
      based on prior communication. Lady Jocelyn also gave details of the KWAR she
      had attended last year. The time frame for such an event was discussed with
      Lady Jocelyn suggesting the month of November being the best. KWAR cannot
      conflict with Pennsic or Kingdom Coronations. It was noted that last year's
      KWAR bid by the Midrealm was online in the Resources section of the E_Rapier
      Yahoo group. The general consensus of those attending the moot was that the
      process of putting together a bid should go forward but that a lot of work
      would be involved that would require the help of the rapier community as a
      whole. It was also suggested that we consult with the organizers of Known
      World Dance in order to see what went well or didn't work for them.

      The floor was then opened up for other issues but nothing further was
      brought forward and the meeting was concluded.

      If anyone wishes to discuss the moot topics, or has anything to add that I
      might have missed from the discussion, please feel free to post it. I am
      always looking for comments from the rapier community on these and any other
      issues of interest.

      Yours in Service

      THL Albrecht Stampfer, OTH, OCK
      Kingdom Rapier Marshal, Ealdormere
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